Brazil: 48 percent interest on credit cards

Borrowing money has always been expensive in Brazil, and Agencia Brasil reports that it just got worse. New rules are causing borrowers here to pay as much as 27 percent interest on auto loans and a whopping 48 percent interest on personal credit. The cause is new credit restrictions adopted nationally last year, which forced banks to raise their spreads, or the difference between the interest paid to investors and the fees charged to borrowers. The increases aren’t themselves gigantic—a 3.9 percent rise on personal credit, 2.1 percent on auto loans. But rates on consumer debt here are already so sky-high that taking out an auto loan, for example, can mean nearly doubling the cost of some cars over the course of the payments. The only interest rates to fall this quarter were those for bank overdrafts—from 170.7 percent to 167.4 percent. Which, seriously, I give up. Don’t borrow money in Brazil.